NPC and the Silver Remote


#1

If you own an NPC and also use the new silver PSA remote (the backlit one), you should be aware of the following.

When the NPC was new, we were told to leave it on all the time for best SQ. The blue PS logo is not a standby button as it is on other pieces. Touching any of the front buttons turned on the display if adjustments were needed.

After getting my BHK pre, I started using the silver remote to put the pre, the DS DAC, and (later) the DMP into standby by hitting the ‘Off’ button. This also affects the NPC; the display (if on) and the blue logo go off. (The NPC manual makes no mention of the fact that it even has an IR sensor.) Once put in standby this way, touching one of the buttons on the NPC turns on the blue logo – so you think the unit is back on – but unless you turn it on with the remote, the display refuses to come to life. In my system the NPC sits to one side of the stack with the pre, the DS, and the DMP, so it doesn’t always get affected when I turn the other pieces on with the remote. I was used to just touching a button on the NPC, but this now does not work unless the NPC has been woken up with the remote. Took me a while to figure this out.

I also learned that the four Phono Preamp buttons on the remote do work with the NPC to adjust input (phono/analog), phase, and mono/stereo. Very convenient, although unexpected since the NPC has been discontinued cry.


#2

Hi Magister,

Thanks for the information on the NPC and the silver remote. I own a DSD and PWT.

I have a NPC on order from PSA, deciding to finally transfer my lp’s to digital using a SOTA Nova table, ET-2 arm, and Lyra Kleos cartridge. I was wondering whether to expect a silver remote with the New NPC, and whether the NPC will better an ARC ph-5 tubed phono preamp in the analog domain?

Thanks


#3

When originally sold, the NPC didn’t come with a remote. I don’t know if PSA has changed this. If not, give them a call – I expect they will take care of you, particularly since the new remote works with the DSD as well.

There are some threads here where people have compared the NPC to other phono preamps, including some ARC models IIRC. Please let us know what you think (I don’t have any ARC gear). I can tell you that a friend of mine who is more seriously into vinyl than I am thinks highly of the NPC.

In case you didn’t see this elsewhere: Vinyl Studio is probably the best software for transferring LPs. It’s inexpensive and has many useful features for recording albums that aren’t found in general-purpose software like Audacity.


#4

Thanks for the info Magister. The NPC and a Lanrover arrive in two days. -Lots of new toys to play with. I’ll do a direct comparison between the NPC and my tubed ARC unit. I’m expecting the NPC to win the contest, as I’ve heard you would have to spend $10K to better the NPC. My ARC was $1500. Anyway, that’s what Anthony Cordesman said in TAS. -A reviewer, who 'ya gonna believe?

And I’ll have to track down the comments about the NPC.


#5

Magister,

This is off topic, but I was wondering if you or anyone you know has tried the Synergistic black fuse in the NPC. The NPC is working great even with only 36 hours of break-in. -With one exception. I’m getting a low hum from the NPC with the unit properly grounded to the turntable and arm, which wasn’t there with the same setup using the ARC ph5. Have you experienced this? My cartridge is a mc with only 0.5 mv output, so I have the gain on the NPC at 60db or so. I’ll probably keep the NPC regardless.

Thanks,

John


#6

I use a low output MC cartridge and about 75 dB of gain. I had a noticeable hum but was able to get it to mostly go away just by better cable routing (keeping the turntable cables away from power cords and other equipment).


#7
John Wyant said I was wondering if you or anyone you know has tried the Synergistic black fuse in the NPC.
I have not tried any aftermarket fuses because the NPC manual says "There are no user serviceable fuses or circuit breakers inside the NuWave Phono Converter." I imagine there is some kind of fuse but it doesn't sound like something I want to mess with.

#8

John, have you tried different grounding? Have you tried a cheater plug?

I have a battery operated phono preamp, so I should not have any ground issues, but in the first setup, I had to run a cheater plug on the charger. I moved and set up the system with no ground issue noise. I changed my power conditioner, it was back. Put the cheater plug in, and it is gone.

I had tried grounding the arm, the TT, the step up transformer, all in different configurations. Now I don’t use the cable ground, and I run a cheater on the battery charger power supply.


#9

Thanks for all the help. I’ve tried all of the tricks, and a faint hum persists. The NPC is on a cheater plug at present, because directly into the outlet produces horrendous ground loop hum. I think the faint hum is from the high gain in the NPC.

I can live with the faint hum, because the NPC may be a better analog phono pre than my ARC ph-5. I haven’t tried converting an album to digital yet. That’s another mountain to climb using my Microsoft computer. Any advice with this?

Regards,

John


#10

As noted, Vinyl Studio is probably the best software for digitizing albums. It is available for PC and Mac.